Category Archives: Technology

Is an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Worth It?

UPS

Recently in my area there have been some power outages and I have seen people complaining about not being able to use the computer or Internet during this time. When I advise investing in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) they tend to have a few questions about whether or not purchasing a UPS to use in their home is worth it or not, let’s take a look.

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Gzip vs Bzip2 vs XZ Performance Comparison

Compression

Gzip, Bzip2 and XZ are all popular compression tools used in UNIX based operating systems, but which should you use? Here we are going to benchmark and compare them against each other to get an idea of the trade off between the level of compression and time taken to achieve it.

For further information on how to use gzip, bzip2 or xz see our guides below:

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How to Create a Website or Blog with WordPress

wordpress-logo

WordPress is a free web application that allows you to create a fantastic looking website or blog. There are thousands of additional themes and plugins allowing you to easily customize your website to get the unique look and functionality that you’re after. So how can setup your new website using WordPress? Let’s take a look.
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New Server Upgrade – A Scalable Solution

For some time now I have wanted to move this website over to a newer server in order to improve overall website load times around the world. First I’ll cover the old server, what I was looking for and how I decided on a provider.

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Reverse DNS explained

DNS is traditionally used to resolve a domain name to an IP address, this is known as forward resolution. Reverse DNS (rDNS) is the opposite of this whereby an IP address is resolved to a domain.

rDNS uses the arpa (address and routing parameter area) top level domain (TLD). The in-addr.arpa domain is used for IPv4 while ip6.arpa is used for IPv6 addresses.

This all sounds very backwards, let me explain…

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Setting QNAP NAS to shutdown on UPS battery power

QNAP Nas

Over the last week my area has received a lot of electrical storms, the most recent of which knocked out the power for a split second causing the UPS to fail over to battery power which saved me losing what I was working on. I’ve had this UPS for a few years now and it’s definitely been worth every dollar and then some, if you don’t already have one I suggest you look into investing in one.

Earlier this year I purchased a QNAP TS-870 8 bay NAS which is plugged into the CyberPower UPS as I don’t want to risk data corruption should the power go out. However when the UPS failed over to battery on the most recent instance, it made me consider what would happen if the power went out while I was not at home to safely shut things down. I run the NAS 24/7 so if the power went out for an extended period of time while I was out or asleep the NAS would almost certainly drain the battery of the UPS then shut off without correctly shutting down.

As the majority of my data is now stored on the NAS this would be an unacceptable option, so I have instead configured the NAS to safely shutdown when it detects that the UPS is using its battery.

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My upgrade to Windows 8 and a new SSD

Recently I decided to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and to coincide with this I went for a new SSD to use for the primary disk. I have been using an OCZ Vertex 2 for about 2 and a half years with no issues, however it was only 60gb which was a bit limiting, and a fair amount slower in comparison to SSD’s available today.

I bought a new Intel 520 Series 180gb SSD, opened up my PC case and swapped it with the OCZ Vertex 2.

ssd upgrade

Out with the old, in with the new.

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My Bitcoin mining experience

Bitcoin miner hardware

In this post I am going to cover my experience with Bitcoin mining over the past 20 months or so. During this time I have purchased specific hardware for the task of mining Bitcoins in order to come out with a profit at the end. My journey started in June 2011 when I purchased 4 ATI 6990s and has more or less come to an end now in March 2013 when I sold my mined Bitcoins for a profit.

The aim of this project was to be able to purchase some cool hardware that could perform a high level of computation, that would eventually pay for itself. Hash cracking is a hobby of mine and I saw Bitcoin as a good opportunity to generate profit while I was not cracking hashes.

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Raspberry Pi Overclock: Turbo Mode for increased performance

Today it has been announced that if you are using the Wheezy image of Raspbian you can update to allow dynamic overclocking without voiding warranty. I’ve been using my Raspberry Pi for a little while now and have begun to notice the CPU limitations when compiling code and performing other tasks so I jumped at the opportunity to give this a go. I’ll briefly go through the steps I went through in order to update the OS, as well as provide a basic benchmark that will display the changes.

Raspberry Pi benchmark graph

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Compiling Synergy from source on the Raspberry Pi

Recently I set up my Raspberry Pi and the first thing I wanted to do to make it usable was to get Synergy working. Synergy is a program which you can use to essentially connect two computers together so that you can interact with both using just one keyboard and mouse.

I’ve previously used Synergy on x86_64 based operating systems without problems, but never on ARM – which involved compiling Synergy from source. As I had a few problems along the way to solve I figured this post would be useful for people going through the same process.

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